Powering Up Down Under

Last year, strong winds ravaged Australia, damaging critical energy infrastructure and cutting power to the entire south part of the country. 1.7 million Australians were left without power and, to make matters worse, further blackouts occurred early the following summer when intense heat pushed the grid beyond its capacity.

The South Australian government acted, calling for competitive bids of grid-scale energy storage options with at least 100 MW capacity. On July 6th, Tesla announced that its Powerpack project – the world’s largest lithium-ion battery – had been selected. It will meld with the environmentally sound Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm to continue South Australia’s sustainable energy initiatives.

Like most renewable energy in major grids, Tesla’s Powerpack is slated to deliver electricity during peak energy usage hours, offsetting the burden on the electrical infrastructure. The project is expected to be completed by December of this year and may initially power up to 30,000 homes.

Tesla writes that the “project is not only sustainable, but will help solve power shortages, reduce intermittencies, and manage summertime peak load to improve the reliability of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure.” The company also expects the project to be available to homeowners who wish to collect and store energy during the day so it is available at night and if/when the electrical system is interrupted again.


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